Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight did not expect anything out of the ordinary to happen on what was a routine flight from San Francisco to Phoenix. However, when the plane finally landed, there was one extra passenger on board the plane. According to Yahoo News, a passenger aboard the flight went into labor shortly after the flight took off and eventually gave birth, even as the aircraft made an emergency landing after being diverted to Los Angeles.
The incident happened on Tuesday shortly after the Southwest Airlines Flight 623 took off from San Francisco, reports USA Today. The woman and the baby, whose identities have not been revealed, were lucky to be on a flight that by a twist of fate also had a doctor and a nurse on-board. The woman, who went into labor a few minutes after take-off, was initially assisted by flight attendants. However, as the situation turned serious, the Southwest Airlines crew asked for help from the passengers and made an announcement asking if there were any qualified medical personnel aboard the plane. Luckily, there was not only a doctor but also a nurse on board — both of whom happily volunteered to check on the woman in labor.
According to Southwest Airlines spokesperson Emily Samuels, it was owing to the timely help by the on-board passengers that they managed to safely deliver the baby thousands of feet in the air. She also believes that Southwest Airlines have found a new customer for life.
After the medical emergency was announced, the captain diverted the aircraft to Los Angeles, where a team of paramedics were waiting for the mother and child. According to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Erik Scott, both the baby and the mother were in good condition when paramedics entered the plane. The duo were subsequently taken to a hospital for further evaluation and are doing fine now.
Other passengers aboard the plane were delayed owing to the fact that the plane that witnessed the birth of a new life was taken out of service for cleaning. Southwest Airlines arranged another plane for them and all passengers eventually landed at Phoenix — a good two hours late.
Julie Dafoe, a passenger who was sitting next to the woman in labor described what happened inside the plane. In an interview to Phoenix TV Station KTVX, she quipped thus.
“One of the nurses that helped she said she was like walking around pacing in the airport so they were thinking she was having contractions. All of a sudden I heard a baby cry like a gurgling sound, like a baby that had too much milk or whatever and I’m like ‘There’s no babies on this flight!'”
Other passengers said they did recall the call for a doctor. Many of them were unaware of the kind of medical emergency it was. Eventually, the passengers were told by the captain that they now have a brand new passenger and they broke into applause.
Aarti Sahani, another passenger on board Southwest Airlines Flight 623, told reporters thus.
“The captain announced congratulations for the arrival of this new baby boy. So we all started applauding, but it was confusing because we thought someone was going to die not be born.”
This, by the way, is not the first time an incident of this nature has happened. Earlier this year, the Inquisitr had reported about a woman giving birth to twins aboard an airplane.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]